Definition of envy noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈenvi//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈenvi//
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  • [uncountable] the feeling of wanting to be in the same situation as somebody else; the feeling of wanting something that somebody else has synonym jealousy (1) envy (of somebody) He couldn't conceal his envy of me. envy (at/of something) She felt a pang of envy at the thought of his success. They looked with envy at her latest purchase. Her colleagues were green with envy (= they had very strong feelings of envy).
  • Word OriginMiddle English (also in the sense ‘hostility, enmity’): from Old French envie (noun), envier (verb), from Latin invidia, from invidere ‘regard maliciously, grudge’, from in- ‘into’ + videre ‘to see’.Extra examples Her car was an object of envy among her friends. Her car was an object of envy in the neighbourhood. Her youth and looks aroused extreme envy in her rivals. I detected a tinge of envy in her tone. I felt a twinge of envy for the people who lived there. I had no envy of his success. I look with envy on those lucky people with big families. I was filled with envy at their adventurous lifestyle. the Freudian concept of penis envy the envy she felt for her sister Her colleagues were green with envy.Idioms
    be the envy of somebody/something
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    to be a person or thing that other people admire and that causes feelings of envy British television is the envy of the world.
    see also enviable, envious
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: envy

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